noun \ˈker-ə-ˌbü, ˈka-rə-\

: a large type of deer that lives in northern parts of the world

plural car·i·bou or car·i·bous

Full Definition of CARIBOU

:  a large gregarious deer (Rangifer tarandus) of Holarctic taiga and tundra that usually has palmate antlers in both sexes —used especially for one of the New World —called also reindeer

Illustration of CARIBOU

Origin of CARIBOU

Canadian French, from Micmac γalipu
First Known Use: circa 1665


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Arctic deer (Rangifer tarandus) of the tundra, taiga, and forests, native to North America and northern Eurasia from Scandinavia to eastern Siberia. Both sexes have antlers. Caribou stand 2.3–4.6 ft (0.7–1.4 m) tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 660 lbs (300 kg); domesticated races are about the size of donkeys. They are usually grayish or brownish with lighter underparts but may be whitish or nearly black. Their herds are famous for their seasonal migration between summer and winter ranges. Their staple winter food is a lichen, popularly called reindeer moss, which they reach by scraping the snow away with their feet. In summer they also eat grasses and saplings. See also reindeer.


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